Blog of Talmage 9.3.2004

Some people think that Bill Gates looks like me.


Defense of Marriage

I can't see why conservatives don't support same-sex marriage as well as different-sex marriage. It's a matter of faith and the Constitutional protections it enjoys.

You're married if your church says that you're married. The state has to honor that or else it is at odds with the constitution. How would it be if the state could choose which faiths can marry people and which cannot? It would violate the First Amendment ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"). It would also violate the Fourteenth Amendment (Section 1, "No state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws").

Another consequence of the First Amendment is that the state can't compel anyone to practice any religion. For that reason, the state has to offer the civil equivalent of marriage to anyone who can't or won't get married in a church.

The state offers legal protection and benefits to married people. It has to offer them to all married people or violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments. It can't choose by denomination or lack thereof (First Amendment) and it can't choose arbitrarily (Fourteenth Amendment).

Where does that leave us? You can get married by the rules of the faith of your choice, if one will have you, or you can get married by the state. Once you're married, you have all of the rights and responsibilities that all married people have.

Here are two denominations that support same-sex marriage:

More are listed at Partners Task Force for Gay & Lesbian Couples.

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